June 19, Juneteenth

Emancipation Proclamation: 1863, (1)
The CSA ignored that Lincoln set all their slaves free.
They had to be defeated in a bloody Civil War,
And still will not admit that’s what we fought that damn war for.

For two more years of bloody slaughter, Negroes stayed enslaved.
‘Til General Lee surrendered and the Union had been saved.
In Texas, General Granger sent out Order Number Three (2)
On June 19th, in ’65, all Texans’ slaves were free.

But Reconstruction didn’t last; we moved on to Jim Crow
And segregation everywhere, both South and North, we know.
With Johnson’s Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills as their tools, (3)
Both black and white folks gave their lives to integrate our schools.

Now President Joe Biden made a federal holiday,
When everyone should celebrate that slavery’s gone today.
Our white supremacists still won’t, resenting equal rights,
Remaining so opposed that we’re not through with bloody fights.

From 1619, all the way to 1865,
Our Southern states had slavery, (a spirit still alive.)
Though most of us want equal rights, too many still do not
And still deny the reason that the Civil War was fought.

There’s still a long, long way to go, before equality
Will be achieved for everyone; that’s just reality.
But, nonetheless, let’s celebrate, although the climb is steep;
Let’s take a breath, then soldier on, for freedom is not cheap.

(1) The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It freed all the slaves in CSA states in rebellion but not in states that had remained in the Union.
(2) See Union Major General George Granger’s General Order #3. None of the slaves in Texas knew anything about the Emancipation Proclamation, issued two and a half years earlier.
(3) Johnson signed a civil rights act in 1964 then a voting rights act in 1965. Both were opposed by Congressmen and Senators from Southern states. If you look at current state election restriction laws, they still are.